Tokyo is slipping farther away from the right track of China-Japan relations as the Japanese government barges ahead Monday with the farce of buying China's Diaoyu Islands.
Deaf to the solemn protests and serious warnings from China, the Japanese government, according to the Kyodo news agency, is to approve the purchase plan at a cabinet meeting in the afternoon.
A recent string of Japanese provocations over Diaoyu Islands, over which China holds indisputable sovereignty, has already thrown bilateral relations into a scalding pot.
Should Tokyo put its stamp on the islands-buying scheme, whether taking advantage of or caving in to domestic rightist sentiment, it would give another stoking to the fire under the pot.
No matter in what form, such a move is both illegal and invalid, and is firmly opposed by China. The Japanese government must bear full responsibility for whatever repercussions may arise.
Just on Sunday, Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda said on the sidelines of the APEC Economic Leaders' Meeting in Russia that, as cited by Kyodo, his government intends to handle the issue "from broad viewpoints."
But what his government is slated to do Monday makes a big mockery of what the concept of "broad viewpoints" means to any sober mind. Pushing ahead with a provocative unilateral move serves nothing but to undermine the hard-won China-Japan strategic relationship of mutual benefit.
A strategically-minded Japanese government should, as Chinese President Hu Jintao pointed out to Noda on Sunday, fully recognize the gravity of the current situation and refrain from making wrong decisions.
A strategically-minded Japanese government should free itself from the cumbersome bridle of hot-headed sentiment and arrest the dangerous tendency towards rightist mentality.
A strategically-minded Japanese government should stand up against the temptation of short-sighted ploys and inject a dose of true strategic thinking into its decision-making.
Properly addressing the Diaoyu Islands issue is of particular significance as this year marks the 40th anniversary of the normalization of China-Japan ties.
Maintaining a healthy relationship between the two Asian neighbors accords with the fundamental interests of both nations, and contributes to both regional and global peace and stability.
Thus it is highly advisable that Japan heed Beijing's advice and make responsible moves in concert with China to safeguard the development of their overall relations.